"And... well, it turns out Noodles is a boy."
"Do you find that surprising?"
"It doesn't change how we feel about him. He's our cat and we love him. He's your buddy just like R.T. was."
"And we get to bring him home?"
"Yes, we are going to the vet to pick him up now. He's ready to come home."
"Why did we think he was a girl?"
"I'm not sure. It can be hard to tell the gender of a cat. Their privates are on the inside, not the outside, like ours or even a dog's. We never looked as closely as you would need to. Daddy thought Noodles was a girl and we didn't check. Neither did the vet before today."
Not exactly your typical school pick up conversation. You'd probably like a little back story. Let me fill you in...
Hubby fell in love with a feral kitten. The feline joined our family. Hubby said it was a girl. An assumption, I guess. Or perhaps the person whose yard the family of cats was living in told him that. The kitten was fixed, and we didn't look as closely as one would need to in order to figure out such things.
We just went with it. Noodles was a girl...
We loved Noodles. We bonded. The other felines in the household adjusted. Peace was achieved and all was well in the Ross home.
Until last Tuesday.
I returned home from picking SB up at school to find Noodles lame. I could tell something was very, very wrong. I called the vet and they told me to come right in. The vet could tell something was very wrong. Noodles was in great pain. They rushed her off to give her meds and take x-rays.
Noodles broke the femoral head completely off her right rear leg. We had to leave her at the vet so they could keep her comfortable and prepare her for surgery the following morning. That evening, hubby found marks on the hardwood floor directly below the second floor banister.
We have caught Noodles (and our other cats) there before and it terrified us. But we could never yell or try to discipline her in the moment for fear she would fall. Unfortunately, she finally did, when no one was home. I shudder to think of that impact. The fall would have been a good 12 feet.
The good news is, they were able to fix the break with surgery and Noodles should make a full recovery. When the vet called to tell me the procedure went well, he delivered the gender surprise. So there I was in the school pick up lane having Feline Sex Ed with my Kindergartner.
Noodles came home Wednesday evening, and that began a very long, eventful night. At some point he managed to slip out of the plastic Cone of Shame and rip off half of the pain patch the vet had placed on his hip, thus ingesting a nearly lethal dose of narcotics.
Noodles spent the day Thursday at the vet. It was so touch and go the vet was calling me every hour with updates, and each time the phone rang my heart would sink a little. Our tough little guy pulled through, however. And is now home recuperating.
He has earned two new nicknames: Kamikaze and FrankenKitty. And we got a nice, big vet bill right before Christmas (plus a kitten who almost died). Ho Ho Ho.
Not to mention he took the last week of the year I had to be productive and threw it into turmoil. The good news is, he's doing well. Our little man is on the mend. And not even this setback can stop his purr motor...